NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — DownStreet Art (DSA), a program of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) and Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC), will welcome the first exhibiting artist of the DownStreet Art season, Dawn Nelson, who will present “365 Sweet Nothings,” on view on Thursday, June 30, through Sunday, July 24, at four locations across downtown North Adams.

The public is invited to attend a free opening reception on Thursday June 30, at the exPRESS gallery, 49 Main St., 5 - 8 p.m. In addition to exPRESS, additional portions of the exhibition may be viewed at MountainOne Bank, 93 Main St.; Adams Community Bank, 31 Eagle St.; and the Holiday Inn, 40 Main St.

“The 365 individual canvases that depict ‘365 Sweet Nothings’ over these four locations invite the viewer to take a literal, as well as a metaphorical, journey with the artist,” explained DownStreet Art Program Manager Michelle Daly. “Each painting is a realized object but, observed together, they represent a period of transition and celebration for the artist.”

According to Nelson, the exhibition is not about individual paintings, but about interrelationships between often-shifting impulses. “Individually, each painting reflects a simple impulse, response, or poetic reference,” she said.

Nelson divides her time between Jamaica Plains and North Adams. She recently began her career as a full-time artist after retiring from a 30-year career as a middle school art teacher. Her series, “365 Sweet Nothings,” first was exhibited at the Eclipse Mill Gallery in April and March 2015.

Her art, Nelson said, always has reflected events happening in her life. This series is a celebration of the shift she’s made from classroom teacher to full-time artist.

After a few months of work, Nelson realized that each of these works could be seen as a “sweet nothing,” with the past year featuring 365 days of sweet nothings, relaxation and art. After this artistic epiphany, she realized she found a direction to follow, and that direction was to create 365 works signifying her first year of “sweet nothings.”

MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center provides opportunities, resources, and support to the Northern Berkshire Community. BCRC brings together the Northern Berkshire, MCLA and greater creative communities through its cultural programming, including: MCLA Gallery 51, DownStreet Art, Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP), and MCLA Presents! The BCRC promotes, facilitates and encourages a dialogue to foster a sustainable, creative community.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth’s public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

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